Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters are perhaps the most recognizable pickleball players in the sport today. Both players have dominated their competition and have played together in mixed doubles successfully many times.
What’s their secret?
Aside from raw talent and tons of practice, both athletes love smoothies. Yes – smoothies!
Anna Leigh Waters Smoothie Recipe
Anna Leigh Waters recently revealed her smoothie recipe on TikTok, and we are here for it. Packed full of nutrients, including vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidants, it’s clear why this smoothie would be great to start the day or to recover after a long day on the court.
Anna Leigh Waters High Protein Very Berry Smoothie
- ¼ cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp pure unfiltered honey
- 2 cups frozen berries
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup fresh spinach
- 1 scoop of chocolate Whey protein powder
Add all ingredients in a blender and mix to combine. Pour it into a glass or pack it into a portable tumbler to take it to the pickleball court!
Ben Johns Breakfast Smoothie
Ben Johns revealed his morning breakfast smoothie in a YouTube video with Will Tennyson. Tennyson watched Ben Johns add a giant scoop of peanut butter to the blender and remarked, “That’s a lot of calories.” However, Tennyson couldn’t argue with the flavor of the smoothie. If you want to try Ben Johns breakfast smoothie, here’s the recipe:
Ben Johns Breakfast Smoothie
- 3-4 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 cup blueberries
- 3 scoops protein powder with collagen peptides
- Oat milk
Before hitting the pickleball court, combine these ingredients in a blender and pulse to combine! Drink it on the way to your first game, or take it with you as a quick pick-me-up between matches. This healthy breakfast on the go will fuel your matches without weighing you down.
Why Recovery Smoothies are Good for Pickleball Players
The human body is an efficient machine that stores what it needs to function optimally. When we eat carbohydrates, the body turns this into glucose. Some glucose is stored as glycogen, in the muscles and liver. Glycogen is the primary energy source being tapped when the body is engaging in moderate to intense physical activity. The body can easily use this energy to keep us going – until it runs out.
Once the glycogen has been used, the body is forced to draw energy from fat cells. It takes a lot longer for the body to pull the energy we need from fat cells, which can leave our bodies feeling sluggish and tired, hindering recovery and potentially causing low blood sugar. This is why athletes, including pickleball players, must restore depleted glycogen stores after playing for proper recovery.
Drinking a post-workout smoothie for recovery is a great way to quickly replenish glycogen stores, particularly when the smoothie contains both carbohydrates and protein.
Consuming carbohydrates and protein (4:1) during the early phases of recovery has been shown to affect subsequent exercise performance positively, and could be of specific benefit for athletes involved in numerous training or competition sessions on the same or consecutive days. (Burke, L. M. 2015) (Smith-Ryan, A., & Antonio, J. 2013) (Beelen, M. et al. 2010)
If you play pickleball for more than 30 minutes or begin to feel sluggish, take a break and drink a smoothie or eat a small snack containing carbohydrates and protein to replenish your glycogen stores. This will enable you to play better for longer.
Recovery Smoothie Recipes for Pickleball Players
Now that you know why smoothies are great for pickleball players – the next step is making one! Smoothies can have as many or as few ingredients as a person likes and can be customized for nutrition and taste. Try these delicious and nutritious smoothie recipes below, or create your own!
Berry Beet Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk or 2% milk
- 1 cooked beet, chopped
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1–2 tsp. honey
- 1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)
Gut Health Berry Smoothie
- 1½ cups unsweetened nondairy milk or 2% milk
- 1 cup fresh spinach (optional)
- 1 small frozen banana, chopped
- ½ cup frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 1 scoop plant-based protein powder of choice
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
How to Build Your Own Recovery Smoothie
Everyone has different nutritional needs and preferences. If you prefer to create your own smoothie, pick ingredients that will restore glycogen and aid your muscles in rebuilding. Choose one or a few ingredients from each of these categories to build your own smoothie.
To help repair fatigued muscles and lower pain, add anti-inflammatory ingredients to your post-pickleball recovery smoothie.
- Berries and cherries
- Cinnamon, turmeric, or ginger
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc)
- Nut butters (almond butter, peanut butter)
- Seeds (ground flaxseed, chia seeds)
Per the International Society of Sports, athletes should consume 25 – 30 grams of protein for post-workout recovery. Here are some ways to add protein to your recovery smoothie:
- Chia seeds
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- High-protein milk
- Nut butters
- Protein powder
- Silken tofu
- Soy milk
For protein powder, ensure that you choose a high-quality product that is third-party certified, as protein powders are not regulated by the FDA. A few organizations that test protein powders are Informed Sport and NSF International Certified for Sport.
Carbohydrates should be added to recovery smoothies to restore depleted glycogen stores and aid recovery. According to recent studies, the carbs needed post-workout is 1-1.2g/kg of body weight. Luckily, it’s easy to add carbohydrates to smoothies (and they make smoothies taste good.)
- Frozen fruit
- Maple syrup
- Pure fruit juice (no added sugar)
Smoothies are an effective and efficient way to fuel your body. Smoothies are versatile and portable, and can be made from your favorite ingredients. If you plan to play several matches or have an extended pickleball practice session, be sure to pack a smoothie and consume it within 20 minutes after your match to restore glycogen. Not only will it help you recover faster, but you’ll feel better.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?